Natalie Walrond serves as director of the national Center to Improve Social & Emotional Learning and School Safety housed at WestEd. In this role she works nationally to build state and local capacity to integrate evidence-based approaches to social and emotional development and to school safety with academic teaching and learning. She brings expertise in a range of whole child initiatives such as trauma informed practices, as well as implementing data-driven cycles of instructional improvement. Also, as WestEd’s Director of Cross-Sector Initiatives, Walrond helps the agency develop bodies of work that invite partnership across social sectors (such as education, health, justice, and child welfare) to strengthen children, families, and communities.
Prior to joining WestEd, she was an independent consultant for seven years serving mission-driven education organizations, providing strategic planning, financial strategy, and board effectiveness consulting. Her advisory, communication, project management, and group facilitation skills were developed in a variety of roles: as a management team member, a board leader, an investor, and an outside consultant specializing in strategic planning. Walrond brings to her work over two decades of experience in K-12 education, finance, and strategy, for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She earned a B.A. in international studies and international business from Trinity University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, with concentrations in analytic finance and policy studies. She earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1999. Walrond is a member of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) and currently serves on the boards of Beyond 12 and Center for Youth Wellness.